R.E.M. – Flowers of Guatemala

Simple lyrics mask a message about dissidents gone missing every day in the Central American country of Guatemala. Although this is from 1986, perhaps the song is also thinking back to 1954, when the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency backed a coup d’etat (overthrow)  of a socialist government that might have cozied up to the Soviet Union. Or, later in 1982 when the government was again removed undemocratically and people started going missing. Whatever, let’s be clear that Guatemala continues the struggle towards liberal democracy with its free and fair elections and respect for human rights. The flowers cover graves.

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